After not playing last week due to a couple of cancellations, the Lake Havasu volleyball team came out rusty in its match Tuesday against Agua Fria.
However, the Knights shook off their rustiness when it mattered most, winning a fifth and decisive set over the Owls to claim a 3-2 victory at home. Set scores were 17-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-27, 15-12.
With three matches on tap this week, the five-set victory was vital for the Knights, who improved to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the 5A Desert West Region.
“I think it’s going to be a starting point for us this week and give us that momentum to finish out the week strong,” Knights outside hitter Carly Cordero said.
The Knights never led in the first set, losing the game 25-17, but their energy picked up in the second. Havasu started strong, holding a comfortable 22-9 lead. The 13-point lead didn’t last long after a rally from the Owls, who went on a 7-0 run to cut the Knights lead to six. Havasu held off Agua Fria’s lead, winning the set on a service error from the Owls.
The third and fourth sets were each competitive and were winnable for both teams. The third set was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams. The Knights held a narrow 22-20 after the Owls scored twice to get within two. After Knights coach Tim Rodriguez called a timeout, the Knights regrouped and won the game with a 3-1 run.
The Knights were one point away from clinching the match in four sets, but a late rally from the Owls forced a fifth game. The fourth set was competitive, but Havasu was trialing throughout. The Knights’ first lead of the game was a 22-21 advantage and after a couple of ties, Havasu was up 24-22.
Behind a couple of mistakes from the Knights, the Owls forced a fifth set with a 5-1 run to tie the match at 2-2.
“It shouldn't have gone that far,” Knights setter Olivia Legrand said. “I think we could’ve done it in three games, but it was just our mistakes.”
The fifth set was another game where both teams traded points, but after the Knights took a 13-12 lead, they never let up. Havasu clinched the victory, scoring the two points including Cordero getting the match point on a kill.
“If we would’ve lost that game after knowing that we were better most of the time and then giving it away, that would’ve been heartbreaking,” Rodriguez said. “I’m glad they pulled it out at the end. They stayed together.”
The Knights will travel to Buckeye for a 5A Desert West regional match against Verrado (6-7, 3-2 Desert West) on Wednesday. Havasu will be back on its home floor on Thursday for a tough regional matchup against reigning 5A state champions Millennium (8-1, 3-0 Desert West).